JOE Basha wasn’t entirely sure why he’d been invited to the Basketball NSW Awards Dinner at Bankstown Sports Club a fortnight ago.
And, after bushfires ripped through the Blue Mountains forcing widespread road closures that prevented Basha from attending the event, it took a little longer to find out exactly why he had.
“Then in the mail two days later I got this award,” Basha said, looking down at his merit award for contribution to Basketball NSW and the Orange Basketball Association.
“It came as a real surprise to me.”
But not to those who know Basha.
Held on Friday, October 18, Basketball NSW handed out just eight merit awards to worthy recipients across the state.
A long-time president of the OBA, Basha has headed a hard-working committee that’s slowly creeping the participation levels of basketball in the city back up to those boasted about in the “halcyon days” of Orange basketball.
Basha said he was humbled to have been recognised for his part.
“I think, it’s not just about me, let me say that, it really is about all of our committee members like Scotty Holmes, Mel Close, Chris Mavrak and all of the other people who help out on the committee,” the president said.
“I feel a little bit humbled they’ve mentioned my name. It’s really the Orange Basketball Association, to me that’s how it should have been.
“Ultimately it’s more about our input to get this association up and running.”
A former player in the late 1970s early 1980s, Basha then moved on from Orange basketball and played in Sydney for a number of years before eventually taking a well earned break from the game.
“But then you have kids, they start to play and you get into coaching and all of a sudden you get right back into the circle,” he said.
“It’s a great game. It’s a great game of skill and fitness.”
Characteristics being picked up by the Orange sporting community.
“We’ve grown as an association and as a whole, most people are really, really happy. I think we’ve improved our numbers by 100-odd members,” he said, with the goal being upwards of 1,100 basketball players in Orange.
“We’ll be happy to get to that point again.”